In perhaps the best championship game of the entire T.B.C. Tournament, it was the eighth graders from the Granite State who emerged when the smoke had cleared. One-Dream New Hampshire claimed the T.B.C. Boys FIBA West (8th) Championship, with a 75-70 win over the Leominster Lions in the latest grudge match in what is becoming a budding rivalry between the two programs.
After a first round bye thanks to an impressive regular season, One-Dream began their title run by dismantling eXpressions Central 60-41 in the quarterfinals Saturday afternoon. The next morning, One Dream picked up where they left off, nearly doubling up the Mill Works, 61-31, in the semifinals.
This set the stage for an epic battle against the Lions, who entered the championship riding a tidal wave of momentum, having earned an 81-23 opening round explosion, followed up by a 44-20 quarterfinal win and a 42-36 win in the semis.
The championship more than lived up to its billing, as the two division heavyweights went back and fourth from the opening tip until the final horn, with One-Dream making key plays at both ends of the court in the deciding final minutes to secure the win.
As was the case all season, One-Dream was powered by the trio of Parth Miglani, Beck Simunovic, and Jaiden Summers.
Miglani displayed some of the best three-level scoring ability of any 13 year old in the region. The 6’1” guard made an art out of dipping his shoulder, finishing through contact at the rim and getting to the free throw line, where he was all but automatic shooting at a 90 percent clip.
Simunovic, an extremely offensively aggressive and talented 6-foot wing, beat opponents in transition seemingly every other possession, scoring at very high rate.
After spending the season flashing through-the-roof potential, Summers played perhaps his best weekend of basketball to date. The 6’3” forward dominated on the defensive end, blocking shots and fighting to secure rebounds and begin fastbreaks. Offensively he really began to put it all together, dominating single coverage, forcing defenses to collapse and opening the floor for his teammates.